Minneapolis-Rochester high speed rail decision expected by July

The firm that wants to build an elevated high-speed rail line between Rochester and the Twin Cities will decide by summer if the project goes forward, a company executive said Wednesday.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has given a go-ahead to Bloomington-based North American High Speed Rail Group to study building the line.

Work is underway on a business plan and funding for the privately-financed project, Wendy Meadley the firm's chief strategy officer, told a business group.

"We'll make what we consider an unofficial go or no-go by July 1, could be sooner," she added.

Meadley said there will be two town hall meetings at which the public can discuss the planned rail line.

She said station locations are still undetermined. The project's final price tag also remains undetermined but Meadley said the former estimate of $4.2 billion is being revised, likely downward.

Editor's note (March 2, 2016): An earlier version of this story included a photograph of a sign opposing a different high-speed rail project that has been suspended.

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